June 16, 2009

The ingredients of an apology

Posted: 02:19 PM ET

Comedian David Letterman did it in front of a national audience for making a joke about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's daugher. House Speaker Newt Gingrich did it for calling Judge Sonia Sotomayor a racist.

Apologizing for saying something that is hurtful and insensitive to someone is the higher road a person can, and should, take. But what is the best way to apologize? According to, a good apology — whether it is in person, written or over the phone — actually has parts. According to, a person should:

  • Give a short, but detailed account of the situation. If you missed an important date for someone, apologize for that specific event, not being a forgetful person
  • Acknowledge that person(s) was hurt
  • Take responsibility of your role in the situation, and don't offer excuses
  • Include the words "I am sorry" or "I apologize"
  • Add a promise at the end that it won't happen again
  • Ask for forgiveness, this gives the recipient control and power

Regardless of whether you thought the apology was merited, Letterman gave one on his show. Did it have all the parts of a perfect apology? Watch it again to find out.

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Filed under: Living

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June 5, 2009

Sleep deprived? It could be how you go to sleep

Posted: 09:24 AM ET

How is it that my colleague can look bright and chipper on five hours of sleep and I look like I aged 10 years this morning?

sleep consumer tip

Sleep experts always get asked, how much sleep do people need? And their answer is always, "It depends." There is no magic number. But a key factor in the equation of "enough sleep" is the quality of sleep, and that starts with how you go to sleep. If you're sleeping on top of work papers or falling asleep more and more on your couch, you need help.

The Mayo Clinic suggests tips to help you adopt stronger sleeping routines - before bed - for more restful nights. We picked a few that are not your typical ones, (the usual ones being exercising and having a good mattress). Remember, it's about quality of sleep.

  • Have a time you wake up and go to bed, and stick to it, seven days a week. Your body will learn this routine and you'll fall asleep faster.
  • Cut off eating and drinking at a certain time, well before your bedtime. This is not only good for dieting, but sleeping as well. What you eat or drink can keep you up.
  • Make your bedroom cool, dark and quiet. Why do you think hotels are so great to sleep in?
  • Pick a relaxing bedtime routine. This could be a warm bath, reading a book, foot massage. Your body will pick up on this relaxing activity and it will ease you into sleep.
  • Go to bed when you're tired, if not, keep doing something else. Don't force yourself to sleep, let your body naturally want it.

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Filed under: Health • mental health

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About this blog

Clark Howard helps you become a wise consumer. We know you're busy, and that's why Clark's tips are quick and effective. He'll arm you with the information you need to make smart choices. During these tough economic times, Clark wants to help you save more, spend less and avoid getting ripped off!